Members of a veterinary medical committee charged with testing horses for Horse Protection Act (HPA) compliance at a the Tennessee Walking Horse (TWH) National Celebration say rumors that one member never agreed to be on the committee are false.

Passed by Congress in 1970, HPA forbids soring, or the deliberate injury to a horse's feet and legs to achieve an exaggerated, high-stepping gait. The annual Celebration is the Tennessee Walking Horse industry's premier event.

On Aug. 12, the Celebration announced the formation of the three-member veterinary advisory committee (VAC), which would establish new rules and testing protocols and supervise on-site blood draws and X ray examinations of horses participating in the event. According to a written statement, Jerry. H. Johnson, DVM; Dallas O. Goble, DVM; and Phillip D. Hammock, DVM, would male up the newly formed committee.

On Aug. 28, the Nashville Tennessean newspaper reported that Goble was offered membership in the committee, but turned it down for “professional reasons.”

Goble could not be reached for comment.

On Aug. 29, a written statement released by the VAC said that Goble was a member of the committee from its inception, and that “he has been an active part of the committee in creating the protocols.

“Furthermore, Dr. Goble states that on no occasion did he deny being a part of the VAC, or absent from the process in the creation of the inspection protocols,” the written statement said. “Further, Dr. Goble regrets that for per